I was talked into watching Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull by my kids, who wanted to round out their watching of the series of Indiana Jones films. It’s not a terrible movie. In fact, it is roughly all the stuff that made up the originals, but now with 2008 CGI.
Possibly because of that CGI, the story went from classic-movie suspension of disbelieve to crazy-cartoon-superhero suspension of disbelief. Yes the original was filled with crazy stunts and frequent sure-to-be-deadly situations for the heroes, but there seemed to be some limits. Spielberg was deliberately trying to reproduce the feel of the serials of the 1930s and 40s, where each episode would end with the hero in ineluctable mortal danger. Of course, if you paid your dime and came out to the theater for the next episode, you would get to watch how the hero was able to defy his doom. Compared to the original, a line seems to have been crossed. There is a difference between surviving being sealed into a tomb versus being tossed a half mile into the air by a nuclear blast while riding in a kitchen appliance. And yet for both, Indy merely has to dust himself off a little.
I’m not angry I watched it, but I don’t regret waiting almost a decade to do so.
For what its worth, I’ll give an extra quarter star for working “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” into Harrison’s dialog.